Stories of Scald

Scald, or strip, is where the bit between the two halves of the hoof of a sheep or goat starts to rot.  If left it can become footrot, and is caused by similar (or the same depending on the source) bacteria.  Generally when I’ve mentioned footrot I’ve really meant scald.

A couple of weeks ago we had three animals with quite bad scald.

  • Double H the Suffolk, who had scald on all four hooves, and in fact it was getting on towards footrot on the back two
  • Boris who had scald badly on one hoof
  • Moby who had bad scald on one foot

We recently bought some ‘Hoof Phast’ which is a foot bath for treating footrot and scald.  On the 29th November we made up a bucket of this stuff and then treated each of the three animals above.  The treatment consisted of getting a leg and submerging it in the bucket for either a minute or two minutes, depending on how bad the scald was (and how badly they smelt of rot).  Actually it was more struggling with the creature while it tried to lift its now wet and cold leg out of the bucket while we tried to keep it in and time it.  We managed to do all four of Double Hs hooves, and one hoof each on Moby and Boris – the one they were favouring at the time, and also Ishy and Howard because they came near us with slight limps and we felt they wanted the attention.

On the 2nd of December we followed up with an injection of antibiotic for Double H as she was better but still not entirely back to normal. In the last few days she has rejoined the flock and seems almost totally without scald.  Great success!

Sadly both Moby and Boris are now favouring hooves again, though I think they are different ones from before.  They’ve both become a little immobile in the last day or two, particularly Boris, so this morning I decided I needed to treat them.

I started with Moby who, after investigation, seemed to have only one bad foot, though it was really rather bad.  However she really made a racket when I tried to trim it and clean it out.  Eventually after some fuss I managed to clear it out of muck and spray it.

I then moved over to Boris.  Three of her hooves were bad, and one was actually fine.  Quite probably the one we’d bathed a few weeks ago.  I treated her, which involved me sitting with my legs on her to stop her struggling, with her lying upside down.  It looks odd from a distance, and it’s actually quite uncomfortable, but it’s the best way I’ve found to control the Angorans when I’m trimming their feet.

While I was in the process of trimming etc Howard decided to come and take a look.  He mooched about for a bit and then got bored, at which point he decided to have a pee.  All over Boris’ foot.  Nasty.  He then did some poo, but fortunately the little pellets missed her.  It also happened to be the one foot which wasn’t in trouble, though I’m not sure if that’s a sign.

Having trimmed and sprayed the offending hooves I then also injected both Moby and Boris with antibiotic, which they both took surprisingly calmly.  This should mean that they’re fighting the infection from both inside and out.  Hopefully in a couple of days they’ll both be back up and competing for their food just like the others.

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